The Dolores Middle School Destination Imagination team will head to the global finals to compete against teams from all over the world.
Destination Imagination is an academic competition in which student teams from elementary through high school solve challenges requiring creativity and critical thinking. This year’s global finals will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Dolores students are currently fundraising for the trip.
“It is a wonderful, multicultural learning experience full of workshops, hands-on activities and the opportunity to interact with kids from all over the country and the world,” said team manager Michelle Cochrane. “It is very difficult to earn the privilege of competing at this level, and we are extremely excited for the opportunity.”
Each year, Destination Imagination student teams are given challenges in different categories, including technical, scientific, engineering, fine arts, improvisational and service learning.
The challenges are purposely open-ended to allow creative solutions. Teams advance to global finals by winning regional and state competitions in their chosen category.
This year, the Dolores team – the Beartown D&DIers – opted to take part in the fine arts challenge.
“In the challenge, we were required to choose a game, any type of game from sports to video games, and do research on the game,” Cochrane said. “We then had to create an eight-minute skit incorporating game knowledge into the story we created.”
The challenge then had other elements as well, she said, including making a “game gizmo” that altered the story in some way, in addition to telling the story from two perspectives. They made all the props and required elements for the skit and tracked expenses in order to ensure that they stayed within the challenge’s budget limits.
The team started working on their challenge in September, Cochrane said.
Teams are judged based on creativity, innovation and cohesiveness, among other qualities. In addition to presenting their yearlong work, students take part in an “instant challenge,” in which they work together to solve a problem with no prior knowledge of what it will be.
At the state finals, held April 6 at the Auraria Education Center in Denver, the Beartown D&DIers took home first place in their category, in addition to two special awards – the DaVinci Award for risk-taking and “outstanding creativity” and the Renaissance Award for excellence in the areas of engineering, design or performance, according to Cochrane.
Team members currently arein the midst of a fundraising campaign for their trip to Kansas City from May 22-25, where they will compete against teams from around the world.
On May 11, the team is hosting a benefit concert, chili dinner and silent auction from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Dolores River Campground. The chili dinner costs $6, desserts are $1, and children younger than 10 eat free.
Live music will be provided by Glenn Smith, Bentley Monk, Hazel Smith and Taylor Larose. For more information, call Kristi Smith at 739-4271 or visit the team’s GoFundMe page.